Pastor Thure Martinsen

This Week at Golden Hills: Oct. 27, 2018

Web Master - Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Difficult Assignment         

I have shared a number of blogs through the past couple of years from the website, Hope-Heals.org. They are written by Don Jacobsen, a leader in the North American Division Prayer Ministries. The one I received this past weekend was especially relevant, as prayer is something important to our personal growth, and the growth of our church. It is the single most important thing we can do, but it seems to be the thing we do the least.

This post, along with the one following it from 24-7 Prayer, touches on the importance of prayer. I ask you to prayerfully read through each of these and think on the lessons they can give us.

Are you finding it a difficult assignment to help move your church toward becoming a truly prayer-saturated church? Why is that? I can't recall the number of emails I've received that asked something like, "Pastor Don, why is it we all want our church to become a praying church but it just doesn't seem to happen?" Or, "We want to follow Jesus' words and become a house of prayer, but we're finding it very hard to get there. Why is that?"

I'm not a professional diagnostician but let me make some observations.

We have an enemy who is dead-set on preventing it from happening. He trembles, you know, at the sight of the weakest saint on his/her knees. So he will do all he can to distract us. Someone in your church must commit to being sure that distraction doesn't happen.

We are inclined to forget how inert we are in our own strength against the sworn enemy of the church. A while back I asked the Board chair if I could begin the meeting with an urgent devotional time. He answered, "We would be glad for you to do that; please keep it brief because we have a long agenda." I know of some places where the Board has agreed they will not spend less time in pre-business worship than they do in discussion of business items. I think they're on to something.

Deeply-entrenched customs are often difficult to change. I've been attending church board meetings for sixty years and only recently do I recall that the practice has begun to move away from the shallow, "please bless us ..." prayers to pleading with God for His wisdom. It's difficult to operate in a deeply spiritual mode if we begin with nothing more radical than, "Dear God, please be with us tonight and help us to make the right decisions, Amen."

This is not a meeting of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. We are not likely to conduct effective business against a spiritual enemy if we bring to the table nothing more than our best skills and strong personal agendas. We must not assume His answers until we first seek His heart. God can trust His big answers to those who spend enough time with Him to sense what they are. It's not till then that we "hear a voice behind [us] saying, 'This is the way, walk in it ...'"

My friend Mark says, "God honors bold prayers because bold prayers honor God." So let's listen till we are sure we hear clearly what His next step is.

Click here to sign up to receive the HOPE Heals weekly messages. Click here to go to their website, Hope-Heals.org.

The Remarkable Story of The Dolphin Pub – from 24-7 Prayer

“… When we look back, one of the most amazing things about our journey is that we were, and are, not prayer giants. Our story is of people who were really quite bad at prayer, but wanted to be better, So we prayed about it. And God did the rest.” (Click here to read the entire story. Click here to go the 24-7 website. Click here to check out their Prayer Pages for ideas and inspiration.)

Calendar Events

Christian Woman’s Retreat will take this weekend in Grand Island, Nebraska. For more information, or to register – click here for the adult version; click here for the teen version. For last minute information contact the Women’s Ministries department of the Kansas – Nebraska Conference (785-478-4726).

Sunset this Friday – 6:27 pm                                                           

This Sabbath at Church

    • Breakfast in the Fellowship Hall, 9:20 – 9:50 am
    • Sabbath School (10:00 am)
      • Traditional Sabbath School Class – Church Sanctuary: Studying the current Sabbath School Lesson (click here to read it on-line).
      • Alternative Sabbath School Class: Hearth Room: Studying the book Boot Camp for the Last Days by Randy Maxwell. Paper copies of the book will be available at class but if you wish to purchase one for your tablet – click here for a Kindle, click here for I-Tunes, or click here for a Nook.
    • Worship Service (11:15 am) – This Sabbath, Jaime Jorge, an internationally known violinist, will share a message in music and the spoken word. To check out his website, click here.

Jaime Jorge, in addition to playing for our worship service, will be presenting a full concert Sabbath Evening at the Omaha Memorial SDA Church, beginning at 6:00 pm. To check out his website, click here.

Pathfinders & Adventurers meet this Monday (Oct. 29), at 6:30 pm. Contact Kalvin Tuel for more information about Pathfinders (e-mail or 402-201-6370) or Lori Knutson for the Adventurer Club (e-mail or 402-980-5018).

Click here to download a copy of the 2018-2019 Pathfinder Calendar.

Click here to download a copy of the 2018-2019 Adventurer Calendar.

Prayer Meeting meets this Tuesday (Oct. 30) at 6:00 pm. For more info contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Grief Education and Support Program: John A Gentleman Mortuaries offers three free sessions a week, for six weeks, to help adults who have experienced a recent death. The next group of sessions begins next week, October 30. See below for more information.

Kansas Nebraska Youth Rally: November 9-11 at Broken Arrow Ranch. Click here for more information. Click here to register. Contact Tim Floyd at the Conference office for questions (email or 785-478-4726)

Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Deadline, November 17 – To check out their website, click here. See below for more information.

From Bible Gateway’s Weekly Brief

How to Have Joy No Matter What: When life's circumstances take you on an emotional roller coaster ride, how do you obey the Bible’s call to "be joyful always" when it sounds almost crazy – and out of reach. Bible Gateway interviewed Stasi Eldredge about her book, Defiant Joy: Taking Hold of Hope, Beauty, and Life in a Hurting World. (Click here to read more.)

How Jonah’s Story Fits the 21st Century: How is the ancient story of Jonah the prophet a microcosm of the human story in the 21st century? How does the prophet's rebellious spirit and his resulting circumstances demonstrate the surprising and unstoppable grace of God? Bible Gateway interviewed Anthony Carter about his book, Running from Mercy: Jonah and the Surprising Story of God's Unstoppable Grace. (Click here to read more.)

God, Why Aren’t You Doing Something? In this guest Blog post, Craig Groeschel, author of Hope in the Dark: Believing God Is Good When Life Is Not, says, "When we’re suffering, ranting and raving about all the unfairness of life, we would do well to remember there’s so much more going on than we can see or understand from our limited perspective. We’re seeing only a tiny sliver of a much bigger story, perhaps only one sentence or one paragraph on just a single page ..." (Click here to read more.)

Learn about and download the free award-winning Bible Gateway App by clicking here.

Check Out the entire Weekly Brief by clicking here. To subscribe to any one of their many email newsletters and Bible Studies, click here.

Grief Education and Support Program

John A Gentleman Mortuaries offers three free sessions a week, starting next week, to help adults who have experienced a recent death. Their current series focuses on the challenges of the holiday season and strategies to reduce anxieties while giving meaning to this busy time. Joining this support group will give you a chance to meet many wonderful people who understand what you are feeling and who will walk with you as you move through your grief. For more information or to register call 402-391-1664 and ask for Rich. The sessions are listed below. There will be no sessions during Thanksgiving Week.

Tuesday Afternoons: 2:00 – 3:15 pm, Bellevue Chapel (3402 Samson Way, Bellevue), begins October 30 and ends December 11, 2018.

Wednesday Afternoons: 2:00 – 3:15 pm, 72nd Street Chapel (1010 N. 72nd Street, Omaha), begins October 31 and ends December 12, 2018.

Thursday Evenings: 6:30 – 7:45 pm, Pacific Street Chapel (14151 Pacific Street, Omaha), begins November 1 and ends December 13, 2018.

Operation Christmas Child

It is that time of year again! We have the opportunity to make a big difference in a child’s life by participating in Operation Christmas Child. These boxes may be turned in here at church anytime during the next several weeks, no later than November 17, 2018.

You will find plenty of boxes and supplies on the table in our Lobby. It would be wonderful if we could contribute more than 50 boxes this year for children around the world! For information and ideas on packing a box, click here – for a list of things not to include, click here.

For more information about the program, click here or speak with Carol Fennessy or Pat Martinsen.

Christmas Shoe Boxes cost $9.00 each to ship.

    • Please remember to include a check in the box for this amount made out to Samaritan’s Purse (note OCC on the memo line) or include $9.00 in cash.
    • Click here to pay this amount on-line and print out a label for your box if you would like to know where your box goes.
    • If you would like to donate funds to help ship the boxes our children’s departments are preparing, please turn it using one of our tithe envelopes marked Operation Christmas Child.
    • You may also donate funds directly of Samaritan’s Purse for Operation Christmas Child by clicking here.

Church Positions Available

We are looking for people to fill some vacant positions here at church. If you would be interested or would like to suggest someone for these jobs contact John Stroman (e-mail or 402-871-9764) or Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

    • Head Deaconess: This person would coordinate the activities of our Deaconess Group. This would include preparation and participation in Communion services and may include arranging for things like flowers for people in the hospital, planning meals for funerals, and providing support and assistance to people in need.
    • Women’s Ministries: This person would work to connect with the women of our congregation and plan some events that would bring them together and provide mutual support. They would also be our contact person with the Conference Women’s Ministries Coordinator.
    • Webmaster: This person would keep our website updated with current news, announcements, and dates. It would be helpful to understand HTML a bit, but not completely necessary.
    • Social Media: If you are really into social media and would like to help our church have a greater visible presence there (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), please let us know.

Outreach/Community Service Opportunities

Help for Survivors of Current Natural Disasters: ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) works with other disaster relief agencies to assist survivors of the many current natural disasters. To find out how you can help, click here.

Used Stamps Needed! Your used stamps can help Christian Record Services for the Blind raise money. Just tear them off the envelope, being careful to include the entire stamp and bring them to church. Put them into the container provided out on the table and we will take care of getting them where they need to go.

Miscellaneous Information

Lippincott Family Updates: Check out the latest update from Lorilee and Bryon Lippincott about their family’s experiences serving God in Asia. To access a PDF copy of the most recent update, click here. To access a PDF copy that includes all we have received from  2018, click here. To access a PDF copy from 2017, click here. To access a PDF copy from 2016, click here. To access a PDF copy of all the updates we received prior to 2016 (2013-2015), click here. To check out their website, click here. Don’t forget to check out Sharing Dots for Kids. To sign up for their e-mail newsletter, click here.

Free Estate Planning & Wills: Norm Zimmerman, Trust Director for the Kansas Nebraska Conference, is available by appointment to assist anyone who needs Estate Planning, Wills, etc. For more information contact Norm (e-mail or 402-617-2001).

On-Line Giving Available! Our church offers on-line giving through our website. If you would prefer to give electronically or if you are going to be away and want to stay up-to-date with your giving, click here. Adventist Giving now has an App you can download directly to your smart phone to make the process even easier. For an iPhone, click here. For Android phones, click here.

Our Church E-Mail Newsletter, Directly to Your Computer! If you would like to receive our weekly, e-mail newsletter, directly to your computer, click here and enter your information in the space provided in the lower right-hand portion of our church home page.

Verified Volunteers – Child Protection Screening

In cooperation with the Kansas Nebraska Conference, we are working with Verified Volunteers to provide background checks and on-line education for our church officers and everyone who works with our children. This helps ensure that we have some training to help us recognize and avoid situations that would put our children at risk. In addition to our elected Church Officers, everyone who works with Pathfinders and Adventurers, Children’s or Youth Sabbath School Classes, Children’s Church, and VBS must go through this training and submit to a background check (there is no cost to you). It will take about an hour of your time. These need to be finished ASAP.

Even if you have recently completed this process with Shield the Vulnerable, you need to do this now with Verified Volunteers because the information did not transfer from one program to the other and we are no longer using Shield the Vulnerable due to many problems with their work.

To download a PDF page of instructions and links to help you through this process, click here. To go to the website where you begin this process, click here and then select First-Time Registrant and follow the instructions. For more information, contact Pastor T (e-mail or 402-517-5333).

Prayer Watch

There are several people and concerns that we are praying about, for more information about any of these or to request something to be added to our list, feel free to contact Pastor T. (e-mail or 402-517-5333)

    • The Holy Spirit – to fill and guide our church
    • Our Church Leaders (Pastor, Elders, Deacons, Board Members, Sabbath School Class Leaders, Pathfinder/Adventurer Leaders, Etc.)
    • Raul Calderon, Larry Carter, Ron Egger, Gary Jeffers, Michael McKinnie, Dusty Mayhew, Floyd Morrison, Tom Plant, Darin Stotler, Irvin Surber, Christian Willey, Gary Wilson, & Thaddeus Woolsey (inmates Pastor T. is studying with)
    • The Lippincott Family
    • Kevin Klesh (Safety in his work as a Police Officer)
    • Those dealing with Health Issues: Mary Jane Agan’s father, Al Bakerlis (Diane Harrington’s brother-in-law), Heather Boulais (UC Student), Tanya Callahan (Elizabeth Knutson’s sister), Brenda Carroll (Judy Carroll’s sister-in-law), Emma (Mary Jane Agan’s granddaughter), Tammy Gagne, John Hiers, Jane (Mary Jane Agan’s daughter-in-law), Janice (Elma’s friend), Dick & June Klein, Brett Knutson, Reagan Knutson, Ginger Kroeker, Dagny Martinsen, Steve Newton (and family), Melody (Donna & Gary Parker’s daughter), Donna & Gary Parker, Chad Pelley (Flo Filkins’ grandson),  Sheila and her brother Paul, Dane Swensen, Donald & JoAnn Swensen (Les Swensen’s father and step mom), Cindy Tice (Elizabeth Knutson’s mother).

Pastors Contact Information

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